Solar power is now the cheapest form of energy in almost 60 countries

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Bob MillikenHappy New Year 2017 everyone! This is the time and place where I urge you all to create that list of resolutions, write them down, promise yourself that you’ll keep them – so do it!  And this is where I traditionally share my insights and predictions for the coming year on the off chance that at least one of them will be right.

This year I want to do something a little different.  For 2017 I offer only one prediction – and hit it out of the park. I think that solar energy hit a major turning point in 2016 and predict that 2017 will be a tipping point for this technology.

Solar became the cheapest source of new energy in lower-income countries in 2016. This is a landmark moment for new energy costs in developing nations.

Enhancements in how solar panels are built will boost their efficiency from somewhere in the low 20%-25% range to a top rating of around 50%.  When you consider that the efficiency of the internal combustion gasoline engine (your car) hovers somewhere around 20%, solar power begins to look very attractive. In my view, the goal to ditch coal and gas has just gotten a little closer.

Sustainably power your home or business

There is a tremendous imperative for us to embrace solar energy – “The sun provides more than enough energy in just one hour to supply our planet’s energy needs for an entire year.” How can we ignore that?
solar-powerSolar is booming, and for good reasons, the economics including falling equipment costs, new business models like Tesla’s solar collector panels and home batteries, innovation, growing investment, necessity, and a rise in clean energy policies.

I invite you to watch a recent talk by Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla Motors and Solar City, as he introduces his vision of the future of solar power: https://vimeo.com/189402941

It’s not just Elon Musk making waves here. A huge part of this success story is China. China continues to innovate and deploy solar on a very large scale. With off-the-chart levels of smog, wide spread solar energy cannot come soon enough for them.

Are we there yet?

While we are at the cusp of making solar energy affordable for everyone, not just in the lower-income countries, we still have a way to go.  The good news is that solar goes hand-in-hand with renewable energy, the now largest source of new power capacity in the world.

Let’s be realistic. We need continuous, accessible, reliable and inexpensive energy to provide the power needed to create the solar energy infrastructure.   For that reason alone, fossil fuels won’t disappear overnight, but here’s hoping that dropping prices, more efficient technology, and government commitments can change our energy landscape sooner rather than later.

Have a great New Year everyone.

ob Milliken is the TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com specializing in helping businesses with their IT needs. Discover how great local IT services can be.604.270.1730.